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Have you ever noticed the power a “word of mouth” review can have on you?

Think about it- a recent item you purchased, a hotel you are staying at, a clothing brand you are using – how did you learn about it?

In today’s society, especially for millennials, we live off of reviews and referrals. Before we invest our money or time, we want to hear, see, or read, everything we can about the product or brand.

My own personal word of mouth experience was when I purchased a subscription with HelloFresh. I was having a normal conversation with my boss one day, when we landed on the topic of dinner and what each of us were going to make. I started off with a sigh, because I had no idea, I hadn’t been to the grocery store in a week and had nothing in the house. She, on the other hand, stated she was going to be making a One-Pan Orzo Italiano, which not only sounded delicious, but she was not stressed out at all. When I asked her what her secret was, she said she was using HelloFresh! As our conversation progressed, she shared that she has used other home meal delivery services before, but this was her favorite because of the food quality, meal choices, and customer service. Now, I would not have normally tried this on my own. It was foreign to me, the idea of having meals provided to me, but because I knew someone close to me who gave it two thumbs up, I had to see for myself. After a month, I am still using this product and from my experience and word of mouth review, I have gotten others to sign up as well. Now, if you stop and think about it, this one company just gained new customers in less than a month without lifting a finger, how crazy is that!? No extra money or marketing effort, they just needed to deliver a quality service and product and let the customers take care of the rest.

Now, how can your company harness the power of reviews and word of mouth from millennials? Word of mouth marketing is just one of the many ways you can use the tech savvy, always linked, millennial generation to your advantage. Now, for this to work, you will have to utilize many different marketing strategies, so I hope you have been keeping up with this blog series!

Real People, Real Time

We are all aware of how advertising has changed over the years to accommodate millennials. It is not enough anymore to put together a clever add, throw it on TV and wait for the sales to roll in. Now, being clever is a good thing, as millennials enjoy quick and peppy advertisements. However, if that is all you are doing, then you are missing out on huge opportunities. If your company or product could be used by a YouTube celebrity or content creator, then you have hit gold with the millennial generation. 63% of millennials have shared that they would be more likely to try a brand when they can see it on a real person and witness firsthand how it works, and not just by how a company says it should work. Also, by going through YouTube celebrities, millennials get the opportunity to talk and ask questions directly, creating a strong bond with your product. Once you have them hooked, you will have gained a lifer.

Referral/Loyalty Program

Millennials are going to talk about your product, but one way to make sure the conversation continues is by having a referral program. By offering a referral program, you are taking the time to show your loyal millennial customers that you took notice of their referral to your company/product and you want to say thank you. Some companies like Amazon, Airbnb or HelloFresh, have a strong referral game. Their referral program includes discounts, freebies and much more, which are all great ways to demonstrate you care about your hard-working promoters. Millennials love free stuff and knowing that the brand/product they choose to stick with cares about them goes a long way. Another great way to show your loyal millennial customer that you’re grateful for their support and service is to offer loyalty programs. If they are talking about your product with others, I think it is safe to say that they are hooked and are going to continue to purchase your items. 40% of millennials said that they have joined a loyalty program for access to members-only sales or services.

It Goes Both Ways

Millennials love a good experience! There is no experience that is too big or too small for them to share. Sharing all their experiences means they will share all the good, but also the bad. 93% of millennials have made purchases based on a recommendation from friends and family. That is huge! Now, lets flip that and think about what would happen if someone had a bad experience and they shared it. Back in April of 2017, Snapchat had some damage control to do after the CEO made a statement about Snapchat being for the rich. Rightfully, that offended many people, but all it took was one person to start a movement on social media, share their feelings about the situation, create #boycottsnapchat and now the company has a public relations nightmare. The millennial generation is a strong and verbal group, we know how to support the brands we love but we are not afraid to move on if we, or someone we know, have a bad experience.

When it comes to marketing to millennials, it is not easy, for there is not one set way to reach us. Through advertising, social media, and making your marketing meaningful, there are so many different avenues one company can take. Always keep in mind that marketing is like a revolving door- it is always moving. To truly market to this group, you first must understand us and what we are all about. If you allow us to provide feedback, see your product in real time used by real people, and reward us for championing your product, you are going to see an increase in brand loyalty from the millennials.

Stay tuned as we continue this series on how to market to millennials!